Thursday, March 31, 2005

I bet he's gonna be pissed when he gets out

BBC - A court in Afghanistan has cut by at least half the sentences of three US citizens jailed for torturing Afghans and running a private jail in Kabul.

But the court rejected their appeal for the convictions to be overturned.

Jonathan Idema, Brent Bennett and Edward Caraballo were sentenced last September after a chaotic trial.

Branded by the US as a bounty hunter, Idema has said his work was approved by Afghan and US authorities, a claim that US officials have denied.

Idema and Bennett's sentences were reduced from 10 years to five and three respectively, reports quoted one of the four judges hearing the case as saying. Caraballo's was cut from eight to two years.

It is not yet clear why the sentences have been reduced.

Idema was known in Afghanistan as a mysterious figure, often seen clad in combat gear and dark glasses and heavily armed.

He was one of many former special forces soldiers working privately in Afghanistan - some to provide security, others acting as bounty hunters attracted by the millions of dollars in rewards offered for Osama Bin Laden and other top al-Qaeda men.